Bournemouth showing promotion credentials

Bournemouth has the potential to possibly challenge for the title after last season's heartbreak.

Bournemouth manager, Scott Parker

After the heartbreak of losing in the Championship playoff semi-finals last season, Bournemouth have shown no signs of a hangover at the start of the new campaign.

With new boss Scott Parker at the helm, and the Cherries competing at the top end of the Championship table, the early signs are looking promising for a return to the Premier League.

It will have been a tough summer for all concerned at Bournemouth, after they squandered a 2-0 aggregate advantage in their playoff semi-final tie with Brentford.

The Cherries, who are 5/1 in the Championship betting odds to win the title this season, saw Chris Mepham shown a red card in the second leg before losing the match 3-1 at the Brentford Community Stadium.

As the Bees ran out 3-2 winners on aggregate and went on to secure promotion to the Premier League for the first time in their history, Bournemouth were left wondering of what might have been.

With a new manager at the helm, and by continuing to keep the core of the squad at the Vitality Stadium, it is easy to see why Bournemouth have been expected to do well in the Championship predictions.

The likes of Jefferson Lerma, David Brooks, Junior Stanislas and Dominic Solanke would have all attracted interest from Premier League clubs over the summer, but the Cherries hierarchy managed to keep them at the south coast outfit.

While keeping hold of their top assets, Bournemouth secured a handful of fresh faces over the summer to bolster their ranks.

Veteran defender Gary Cahill joined as a free agent and the former England centre-back's wealth of experience could be vital for the Cherries this season.

On the other end of the age spectrum, rising talent Leif Davis joined on loan from Leeds United and has the option of a permanent deal at the Vitality Stadium.

Davis will be able to learn much from the likes of Cahill, and should impress in the Championship, after finding opportunities at Elland Road limited.

Bournemouth's midfield has been bolstered by the arrival of Scotland international Ryan Christie over the summer.

The Cherries spent just under £1.5million to bring the Scot south of the border, and now Christie is a regular feature in the middle of the park for his new employers. With fellow midfielder Emiliano Marcondes joining on a free, and wingers Morgan Rogers, and Jamal Lowe making the switch to the Vitality, it was a positive summer's business for the club.

The return of midfielder Lewis Cook, who in September signed a new deal, from injury should be another big boost for the club in their hopes of promotion this season.

The former Leeds playmaker will be hoping his knee injury woes are behind him and he can focus on getting himself back to the form that earned him a call up to the England senior squad.

It's still relatively early days in the Championship campaign, but it looks like Parker has the tools at his disposal to not only secure promotion but possibly challenge for the title as well.

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